Grateful to be: What does it means to be a Black Woman in STEM

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Hello everyone and happy Valentines Day! On this lovely day, I’m gonna tell y’all a little bit about why I love being a black woman in stem and what it means to me. Currently I work for the Department of Education as a Systems analyst in the Risk Management department. It’s amazing to get to work for a department that’s centered around education, while still getting to utilize my IT background.

First off, after working a couple office jobs in the IT field, I’ve been blessed to find a job with such great cultural diversity. I work with people from all different walks of life all over the world ranging from Jamaica to Cameroon. At my first job I was one of only 2 black people that worked in my office. And the other one worked from home, so you can probably imagine that work environment. Coming to DoE made me really appreciate diversity and allowed me to meet some intelligent black women and make connections that I never thought I’d be able to.

But let’s get to the topic, working in the STEM field as a black woman can be a rewarding experience that is also challenging at times. It can be rewarding because we are so unique as women of color, we bring a flavor and flair to the office that is unmatched by any other group. From our hair to our clothes to our lingo, we are all that (I’m sure as you all know)! Not to mention we are one of the hardest working creatures on this planet. Most great teams have a woman on their side! On the other hand, sometimes people might feel intimidated by our, for lack of a better term, awesomeness. And in turn people might treat us differently, but the best thing you can do is continue to be yourself. If you feel like someone in particular may have an issue with you, try grabbing coffee with them one day and just chat, maybe you’ll see you both have something in common and can build a working relationship from there!

Most importantly being a black woman in STEM is important to me because of all my ancestors that came before me and aspired to work in the STEM field, but never got their chance. I couldn’t imagine being a brilliant woman that can’t get a job because I’m... well.. a woman. It’s crazy to think that just a few decades ago many women stayed home not because they wanted to, but because that was expected of them. So everyday I try to get up and be grateful for having the life I have as a beautiful black woman!

- The Analyst